Tag Archives: writing

How To Torture The Hopeful Writer

11 Feb

Okay, guys. I’ve gone and done it. I got myself a website. I’m still working on it, though, and it is a nightmare. I figured I’d use WordPress because, hey, I already have a blog so I know how it works. Well, no. It was a real struggle and I’m still not sure I want it this way a 100%. It’s probably because I want it to feel less like a blog and more like a website, though I do at some point want to transfer this blog over there as well. I tried lots of different templates and none of them give me that AHA feeling. At times like these I wish I had a magic wand. And many, many other times.

It’s important to have your own website, though. I hear this many times, and have never disagreed. It looks professional and I’m sure it will be worth it. But for now, I’m complaining. I’d rather play with my characters than spend an entire day on my laptop doing Other Things. The horror. Especially since I then go back to another template and start all over again. I just want it to be perfect and I have been dreaming of my own (perfect) website for so long. My hope is a fragile waterballoon, about to burst.

If anyone has tips or wants to share their website for inspiration, feel free! My muse apparently only shows up when novels are involved, and occasionally with tweets.¬†Wish me luck and if you don’t hear from me, it means that the Website Demons have gotten to me and even my pet dragons couldn’t save me.

Advertisements

Some Stories Write Themselves

28 Jan

This the dream, right? When writing a novel you want it to be a joyous walk in the park. An adventure that sweeps you away and delivers you home feeling breathless and somewhat in love, like a really good date. You don’t want it to be like labour, pushing the novel out one painful chapter at a time until your fingers start bleeding.

I’ve started writing a novel based on some daydreaming I did and really just wrote it for fun, but I can’t help feeling very excited about it. I’ve been writing for three or four days and am now at 10K words. Basically it feels like this novel is writing itself. And man, what a feeling! I’m sure it’s because I’ve been carrying these characters in my head for a while. That is really always a good idea before writing.

Personally I find that writing also has a lot to do with the headspace I’m in, but in this case, that doesn’t matter. Because I know where I’m going and I know who these people are. All I have to do is follow them around and write about it.

See, it sounds so easy. I wish all novels were like this.

 

Writing My Characters

21 Jan

Recently I got a question about how I write my characters. Since I write character-driven stories, characters are important. They have to be real, complex, and relatable. I never put pen to paper if I don’t know who they are. If I haven’t had a shrink session with them in my head, then I can’t write them well. It might be that I have them answer questions, but sometimes I get images, scenes that show me who they are. It’s can be a vibe.

The key to transferring this vibe to the reader is by giving them crumbs instead of the entire cookie. My characters have secrets, or things they’d rather not want others to know for some reason and that’s what I hint at. I don’t necessarily share the secrets, maybe not even any of the secrets, but I sure as hell hint at them. Readers are smart. Spelling things out usually annoys rather than helps.

Currently, I’m writing a main character who is also an antagonist. She is bad. I mean really bad. She has power and wants to keep it, if not get more. She kills without blinking. Now it is extra important that the reader UNDERSTANDS her. Otherwise they won’t accept her behaviour or care about what she experiences. This novel is a puzzle of her and slowly but surely the reader gets to know her. Characters need to grip you, otherwise why would you care? That’s why I can’t read plot-driven novels. I lose interest. I don’t care enough to read on.

Basically I write my characters with great interest and as if they are a puzzle that readers need to put together with clues. Subtle clues. The plot allows room for that, in fact, it helps the character show us who she is. There also has to be a contrast. My character is evil, sure, but she is also fragile and can’t stand violence against women even if that makes her a bit of hypocrite. Conflict is in every novel but there should also be conflict in characters if you want them to be interesting, no matter how small that conflict is.

Make things difficult, and let them show you what they’re made of.

Time for Action

20 Jan

Nobody who has ever written thought that writing is easy. When on top of the desire to write, you also have a desire to get published, it’s even harder. It’s like climbing a mountain while being pulled back on an invisible string every now and then. Every finished novel is a personal victory, but life and rejection can pull you back, further away from your dream.

I read about it so many times, it’s part talent, part luck to break into the industry. Well, I think the luck I ordered got lost in the mail. I’ve been taking an unwanted break with publishing because I started a new job two years ago, but now I’m querying a novel that I hadn’t gotten around to querying yet. It’s a novel that’s inspired by the Adams family and is about a woman who can see how everyone dies everytime she touches them. She lives a secluded life, therefore, but then something prompts her to visit a nearby town and she gets entangled in the mysterious house on the hill. Her life is turned upside down and she makes friends and enemies. The novel also has a romance that makes even me swoon. It’s a story I’m very passionate about. I’m so happy I can finally query it.

It’s important to keep writing and keep trying. It’s also important to have hope, but that part gets a bit harder each time. Self-doubt is an ugly monster that you don’t want under your bed. But it also makes me realise it’s time for action. I’ve gotten a hang of my job, so I can afford to focus on my writing now. What a relief, because I hated not having an outlet for my creativity. I ordered a few books on writing (like I don’t have enough) that are bit more motivational and less about technique, as well as on how to try and actually experience success with your novel. It still doesn’t make me lucky, but it will happen one day. I just wish that day was here sooner than later.

Make a Plan

22 Oct

Nothing can be as motivating as to actually write down what you want and what you’re going to do to achieve it. Writing in itself is an easy goal. You sit down, you write. Getting published is another story. It is a story that contains a lot of conflict and the resolution isn’t in sight for who knows how long.

Make a plan. That way you know you’re doing all you can and you actually get a clearer image of what you CAN do. Whether it’s attending writing courses, joining a writer’s website, collecting beta readers, creating deadlines for novels/revisions, writing down a list of agents you will query and when. All of it can help you stop feeling like you’re a leaf in the wind, no control over the direction in which you’re going. You are the writer, you have some control. In the meantime, enjoy the ride and celebrate every little victory.

eLearning-Script-Writting-Tips

Being a confident writer

20 Oct

It’s funny. We live in a world that demands perfection, but when we seem proud of our achievements we’re arrogant. Arrogance is bad. Perfection is good. Well, what if that so-called arrogance is in fact confidence? Confidence is good, right?

It’s important in life to have faith in yourself, because if you don’t, who will? It’s also important to know your strenghts and weaknesses and work on whatever it is you need to work on in order to improve and have a fighting chance. Before any of that, though, give yourself a fighting chance by believing in yourself and acknowledging what you’re good at! Focussing on your strengths is also a big part of improvement. thUEYPWFZX

So writers, please. Be a confident writer and go for it. Your novel is more afraid of you than you are of it. Face the world with your characters right behind you and know that you are good…

…and getting better.

Motivation, Where Are You?

5 Oct

The Writer sits behind her laptop, biting her nails and compulsively checking her email. It has been a few weeks since she queried two agents. When will they get back at her? And there it is, the ping of DREAD. Because the ping could be the doorway that leads to all her dreams, or it can extend the journey even more.

And there it is. A NO. Again. It’s not a harh no, it’s a not a no that informs you that you’re completely rubbish. Yet, that makes it even harder. To be so close and yet so far removed from The Dream.

We all go through it, and yet we go on. How can we not? We are writers. At the same time, though, it’s extremely hard to stay motivated enough to pour your soul out onto the pages and build a bond with new characters. Especially when your dayjob already demands a certain level of perfection from you. So how can you keep firing at every novel with all you’ve got when you’re covered in cuts and bruises and really just want to go to bed?

Google is your friend. Other than actual humans who NEED to give you peptalks, Google will help you next. If you look for brilliant authors whose works were initially rejected, or famous novels that were rejected A LOT, then you actually find plenty examples. Examples that will give you hope and make you realise that when you stick to your guns and you believe in your novels, you can make it. And keep in mind that with each novel that you write and receive feedback on, you grow as an author. So if you don’t get your bookdeal with this novel, then maybe with the next one. Keep writing, keep improving and especially KEEP ENJOYING the process. If you’re going to be in the spotlight some day, you might as well make sure that you have enough experience to SHINE.

Shine-for-progress

 

%d bloggers like this: